If you want to grow your business these days, it’s likely that your IT systems will need to grow and evolve alongside it. The vast majority of companies in 2021 would struggle to operate without IT – but you can’t just expect your systems to run smoothly all by themselves.
Staffing costs can quickly pile up when it comes to hiring an in-house IT team though, and because of this, lots of small businesses are now looking towards Managed Service Providers (or MSPs). But should you join the ranks and start outsourcing your IT requirements?
How Do MSPs Work?
You can think of an MSP as essentially functioning like an IT team that happens to work in another office. Though the staff won’t directly be on your payroll, they can still cover your basic IT needs in the same way.
The main benefit of choosing an MSP is the simplicity of both hiring and working with them – you can get them onboard with just a few quick phone calls, and even busy companies could expect to be working with them within a week after the initial talks. This is because MSPs are fully equipped with dynamic staff who work with a huge range of companies at once; if you’re interested, all they need to do is get you under that same umbrella.
You can expect that most MSPs will provide a standard maintenance and support package, for which you’ll pay a monthly fee. You might assume that the wide range of experience and knowledge the staff have would result in a much higher cost than an in house team, but this isn’t actually the case. Although employing these staff individually as part of your own team certainly would, MSPs with an economy of scale, and can provide such a reasonable rate because of how many companies they work with.
Clearly, there are some serious benefits to taking this route – but what would this mean for your business, and how could it be used to drive future growth?
Does Using An IT Service Provider Save Money?
If you’ve ever had to handle the budgeting for your company, you’ll probably have a good understanding of just how quickly expenses can pile up, especially when it comes to staffing your business through recruitment drives. Bringing on a new IT professional can cost as much as £3000 due to factors like lost resources, staffing, on boarding, fees, training costs, and more. Multiply this by the number of new team members you require, and that’s a huge amount of money gone before you’ve even welcomed them into the office!
This means that you can save some serious money by working with a managed service provider, as you’re basically eliminating all of the extra fees that come with hiring an in-house team. In fact, the MSP will be taking on many of these fees for you so that they can fit into your business without friction.
But how do these initial savings impact your business growth going forward? Well, you now have much more money sitting in your account to invest in more meaningful things! Not only will you now have a team of IT experts at your disposal, but you could also spend the money you’ve saved on a new marketing campaign, product development, additional staff in other areas, or marketplace research – the choice is yours! As you can probably tell, the choice is simple for lots of business owners.
Can Work With An MSP Drive Growth?
Now that you know how saving money in some areas can assist you with promoting growth in others, you might be wondering how you can drive IT growth directly with your MSP. After all, it might seem as though hiring an external team would result in staff who aren’t wholly invested in the future of your company – if you don’t do your research, this could end up being the case, but it certainly doesn’t have to be.
The companies you research will likely have seen many of the businesses who have hired them grow and evolve over the years, and as a result, will probably have a thorough understanding of the kind of technology that can keep you on the cutting edge too. For example, would your business benefit from implementing an SD WAN system into your network? Would MPLS make your system more reliable in high traffic times? Would staff be more productive with a hosted telephone solution?
You might not fully understand all of these IT terms, but your MSP certainly will, and they could potentially be the next big step in expanding your business. By working with them, you’ll have access to this expert knowledge, and could receive some assistance in planning these developments. It might not be a free service as part of their standard package, but paying a little extra for some consultancy time could really pay off in the long term.
How Do I Know That An MSP Will Work Well With My Business?
Generally speaking, there are two major factors that play into growing your company: money, and knowledge. When you bring on an MSP, not only will you be saving money, but you’ll also be bringing their expertise onboard in the process.
That doesn’t mean that all MSPs are created equal, though, and you will need to put in some research time if you want to make sure that the company you’re speaking with can really give your business what it needs. One way to do this is by asking if they’ve ever worked with businesses like yours in the past, as this indicates a knowledge of your sector or of your current goals and priorities. You may also want to inquire about their own plans for growth – you won’t want to have a messy breakup if it turns out that their ambitions can’t quite match your own.
If you can find an MSP that understands your business, your goals, and your plans, then you could be entering into a partnership that truly catapults your company into success.